• Asymmetries between achromatic and chromatic extraction of 3D motion signals

      Kaestner, M.; Maloney, R.T.; Wailes-Newson, K.H.; Bloj, Marina; Harris, J.M.; Morland, A.B.; Wade, A.R. (2019-07)
      Motion in depth (MID) can be cued by high-resolution changes in binocular disparity over time (CD), and low-resolution interocular velocity differences (IOVD). Computational differences between these two mechanisms suggest that they may be implemented in visual pathways with different spatial and temporal resolutions. Here, we used fMRI to examine how achromatic and S-cone signals contribute to human MID perception. Both CD and IOVD stimuli evoked responses in a widespread network that included early visual areas, parts of the dorsal and ventral streams, and motion-selective area hMT+. Crucially, however, we measured an interaction between MID type and chromaticity. fMRI CD responses were largely driven by achromatic stimuli, but IOVD responses were better driven by isoluminant S-cone inputs. In our psychophysical experiments, when S-cone and achromatic stimuli were matched for perceived contrast, participants were equally sensitive to the MID in achromatic and S-cone IOVD stimuli. In comparison, they were relatively insensitive to S-cone CD. These findings provide evidence that MID mechanisms asymmetrically draw on information in precortical pathways. An early opponent motion signal optimally conveyed by the S-cone pathway may provide a substantial contribution to the IOVD mechanism.
    • Global shape aftereffects in composite radial frequency patterns

      Lawrence, S.J.D.; Keefe, B.D.; Vernon, R.J.W.; Wade, A.R.; McKeefry, Declan J.; Morland, A.B. (2016-05-16)
      Individual radial frequency (RF) patterns are generated by modulating a circle's radius as a sinusoidal function of polar angle and have been shown to tap into global shape processing mechanisms. Composite RF patterns can reproduce the complex outlines of natural shapes and examining these stimuli may allow us to interrogate global shape mechanisms that are recruited in biologically relevant tasks. We present evidence for a global shape aftereffect in a composite RF pattern stimulus comprising two RF components. Manipulations of the shape, location, size and spatial frequency of the stimuli revealed that this aftereffect could only be explained by the attenuation of intermediate-level global shape mechanisms. The tuning of the aftereffect to test stimulus size also revealed two mechanisms underlying the aftereffect; one that was tuned to size and one that was invariant. Finally, we show that these shape mechanisms may encode some RF information. However, the RF encoding we found was not capable of explaining the full extent of the aftereffect, indicating that encoding of other shape features such as curvature are also important in global shape processing.
    • Investigating human visual sensitivity to binocular motion-in-depth for anti- and de-correlated random-dot stimuli

      Giesel, M.; Wade, A.R.; Bloj, Marina; Harris, J.M. (2018-11)
      Motion-in-depth can be detected by using two different types of binocular cues: change of disparity (CD) and inter-ocular velocity differences (IOVD). To investigate the underlying detection mechanisms, stimuli can be constructed that isolate these cues or contain both (FULL cue). Two different methods to isolate the IOVD cue can be employed: anti-correlated (aIOVD) and de-correlated (dIOVD) motion signals. While both types of stimuli have been used in studies investigating the perception of motion-in-depth, for the first time, we explore whether both stimuli isolate the same mechanism and how they differ in their relative efficacy. Here, we set out to directly compare aIOVD and dIOVD sensitivity by measuring motion coherence thresholds. In accordance with previous results by Czuba et al. (2010), we found that motion coherence thresholds were similar for aIOVD and FULL cue stimuli for most participants. Thresholds for dIOVD stimuli, however, differed consistently from thresholds for the two other cues, suggesting that aIOVD and dIOVD stimuli could be driving different visual mechanisms.
    • Relative contributions to vergence eye movements of two binocular cues for motion-in-depth

      Giesel, M.; Yakovleva, A.; Bloj, Marina; Wade, A.R.; Norcia, A.M.; Harris, J.M. (Springer Nature Group, 2019-11)
      When we track an object moving in depth, our eyes rotate in opposite directions. This type of “disjunctive” eye movement is called horizontal vergence. The sensory control signals for vergence arise from multiple visual cues, two of which, changing binocular disparity (CD) and inter-ocular velocity differences (IOVD), are specifically binocular. While it is well known that the CD cue triggers horizontal vergence eye movements, the role of the IOVD cue has only recently been explored. To better understand the relative contribution of CD and IOVD cues in driving horizontal vergence, we recorded vergence eye movements from ten observers in response to four types of stimuli that isolated or combined the two cues to motion-in-depth, using stimulus conditions and CD/IOVD stimuli typical of behavioural motion-in-depth experiments. An analysis of the slopes of the vergence traces and the consistency of the directions of vergence and stimulus movements showed that under our conditions IOVD cues provided very little input to vergence mechanisms. The eye movements that did occur coinciding with the presentation of IOVD stimuli were likely not a response to stimulus motion, but a phoria initiated by the absence of a disparity signal.
    • Sensitivity to velocity- and disparity based cues to motion-in-depth with and without spared stereopsis in binocular visual impairment

      Maloney, R.T.; Kaestner, M.; Bruce, Alison; Bloj, Marina; Harris, J.M.; Wade, A.R. (2018-09)
      Purpose: Two binocular sources of information serve motion-in-depth (MID) perception: changes in disparity over time (CD), and interocular velocity differences (IOVD). While CD requires the computation of small spatial disparities, IOVD could be computed from a much lower-resolution signal. IOVD signals therefore might still be available under conditions of binocular vision impairment (BVI) with limited or no stereopsis, e.g. amblyopia. Methods: Sensitivity to CD and IOVD was measured in adults who had undergone therapy to correct optical misalignment or amblyopia in childhood (n=16), as well as normal vision controls with good stereoacuity (n=8). Observers discriminated the interval containing a smoothly-oscillating MID “test” stimulus from a “control” stimulus in a two-interval forced choice (2IFC) paradigm. Results: Of the BVI observers with no static stereoacuity (n=9), one displayed evidence for sensitivity to IOVD only, while there was otherwise no sensitivity for either CD or IOVD in the group. Generally, BVI observers with measurable stereoacuity (n=7) displayed a pattern resembling the control group: showing a similar sensitivity for both cues. A neutral-density (ND) filter placed in front of the fixing eye in a subset of BVI observers did not improve performance. Conclusions: In one BVI observer there was preserved sensitivity to IOVD but not CD, though overall only those BVI observers with at least gross stereopsis were able to detect disparity-based or velocity-based cues to MID. The results imply that these logically distinct information sources are somehow coupled, and in some cases BVI observers with no stereopsis may still retain sensitivity to IOVD.